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Help with water softener!

Posted by cleverchimp (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 18, 14 at 18:51

Hi all,

I've been reading a lot about the topic from this forum and this is my situation :

Main house

1. 3 people are in the home
2. 2 full bathrooms are in the home
3. 15 GPG hardness level of my raw, unfiltered water
4. 7.5 GPM flow rate in gallons per minute (GPM)
5. The size of the main water line is 1", the house plumbing is 3/4"

Guest house

1. 0 people are in the home (ATM)
2. 1 full bathrooms are in the home
3. Plumbing is 3/4" all around

I dont know if I can find the water line that connects to the guest house, it branches somewhere...the water is still running when I shut the main off but I wanted 1 softener to handle both houses eventually.

The vendor recommend :

1.) 48,000 grain water softener with the Fleck 5600SXT Electronic Metered valve & 10% Crosslink Chlorine Resistant Softening Resin for whole house filtration of Hardness from your water

I would recommend this softener be installed in the main water supply line, and be set to regenerate about every 2500 gallons or 10 days, whichever comes first.....

- Fleck 5600SXT Electronic Metered On Demand Control Valve Water Softener 48,000 Grain Capacity
10x54 Resin Tank
1.5 cubic feet of NSF Approved High Capacity Cation 10% Crosslink Chlorine Resistant Softening Resin
12 gpm service flow rate
2.5 gpm backwash flow rate

Selected options:
Fleck Valve Connection: 1 Inch Noryl Yoke with Noryl Bypass Valve
Tank Color Option: Almond
Brine Tank Size: 15x17x36 Rect Brine Tank

Please advise...thank you in advance. Also, I bought Watts WH-LD Premier Whole House Filter System but just realize the connection is 3/4" not 1", if I install this before the softener, will this making an issue? Should I go with the 1" version filter?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help with water softener!

Need to know pH and TDS to ensure we don't have to make any adjustments to the regen. Since you are on city water, you are entitled to a copy of your city water report - most publish the reports online now. Find that and post it and we'll go from there.

As to the filter, to avoid excessive pressure drop, I would go with one that is 4" diameter instead of the 2" you have. A "Big Blue" or similar is a good option - you can get one with the clear housing like the Watts. The connection size will cause less pressure drop than the filter housing size.

RE: Help with water softener!

thanks for the reply.

From the city website, I found the 2011 report.

RE: Help with water softener!

And then the 2012 report, they did not have the 2013 report yet.

RE: Help with water softener!

My current setup (I will run roughly 8 feet of 1" line and move the current location of the softener due to sun exposure). I also read that 7000SXT is a better valve then 5600SXT.

Alice, do you mean the filter like this :

FlowMatic Full-Flow 10" Clear:Black Housing with Pressure Release and 1" Connection (FH5000CB1PR) #18337

RE: Help with water softener!

Both the 5600SXT and the 7000SXT are good, reliable valves. If you are running a 1" line to and from the softener, go with the 7000 only because it has 1" internal porting, whereas the 5600 internals are 3/4".

Now, sizing the soften gets a little tricky. Hardness of your water varies widely, between 4 and 22 gpg depending upon source. In order to ensure you never have hard water, the softener needs to be sized for the max of 22 gpg. The good news is that a 1.5 cuft softener will work fine for your main house. It would regen every 7 - 8 days. It could, however, be undersized if you have frequent or lots of guests at once in the guest house. Since it is (I presume) a detached guest house, it becomes more likely that two showers could be running at the same time and that presents a potential flow issue. If you plan on the guest house being used frequently, I would go with a 2.0 cuft softener.

Filter: Yes, the one you linked to is precisely what I had in mind. It should be installed with a 3-valve bypass for ease of filter changes, and purchase an extra o-ring (they have an uncanny way of wandering off during filter changes).

Brine tank: I prefer round to square or rectangular brine tanks. It's partially an aesthetic issue, but they tend to hold their shape better. They distribute the stress of salt/brine weight uniformly and will not bulge, particularly in an outdoor installation.

The following requirements are for an industry standard softener. Most of these are covered in the quote you have, but not all. Any decent softener vendor should be able to provide the following:

  • High quality American or German made resin. This will provide a tight size distribution for optimal flow within the resin. NSF does not necessarily mean American or German made, so check on this.
  • Since you have CITY WATER: 10% crosslinked resin. The oxidizers that city water treatment plants use, such as chlorine or chloramine, are harmful to softener resins. Higher crosslinking will resist chemical attack longer. This is covered in your quote.
  • Top basket. This serves two purposes. It sets up a proper water distribution during normal operation and prevents resin loss during backwash.
  • Gravel underbed. The gravel underbed is there to set up proper flow patterns, improve backwash, keep the bottom basket in place, prevent basket failure, and prevent channeling. Many softener sales companies like to leave this out or sell softeners with a vortex system instead. Vortex systems weigh less than gravel so they cost less to ship. In addition, they are a more expensive item that adds profit for the softener salesperson, but provides no additional benefit to the homeowner . It simply adds another piece of equipment that can break.
  • Fleck or Clack valves. These set the industry standard. Be aware that you will not be able to purchase Clack valves online. This is not a problem if you purchase locally. In your case, the 7000sxt is preferable with your 1" line.
  • Noryl bypass. Most softeners are available with either Noryl or stainless bypass valves. Both are good valves, but the noryl tends to be more reliable when not used for long periods of time. This is covered in your quote.
  • Install the softener with a three-valve bypass. This will make it so much easier if you ever need to remove the softener for repairs or wish to take it with you when you move. Use full-port, quarter-turn valves.

RE: Help with water softener!

Alice, you are right, the guest house is detached. Worst come worst, I probably need to install small separate softener for the guest house. My main concern is for the front house ATM.

The vendor stated to set it to regen every 10 days or 2500 gallons. I read that over 8 days is bad for the resin?

I plan to do the filter with 3 way bypass. Thanks for the tip on the O-Rings. The brine tank that the vendor recommend is seems to be match with what you recommended (rectangular). By the way what is "Ress Up Feeder"? Do I need that?

When I check the vendor website...they have the 7000SXT with 1" but it's in PVC...I guess I have to order the 1-1/4" brass instead and downsize from there to 1".

So my setup will be :

1" Filter (with 3 valve bypass) --> Fleck 7000SXT 48k grain softener with :

(They do have Purolite SST60 resin for extra $141, but not sure if the price difference will be worth it)

RE: Help with water softener!

Res-up feeder is only for iron-laden waters, which you do not have.

The SST60 is not worth the extra cost for a standard residential application.

The brine tank is NOT what I recommend - go with ROUND if you have the option, for the reasons I stated previously.

Call the vendor instead of just looking at their website - you can probably get exactly what you want.

The vendor was sizing your softener for average hardness. Like I stated, it needs to be sized for max hardness or you will have hard water when the city switches sources. That will place you at 7-8 days between regens.

Going longer between regens can be an issue if you have particulates, high pressure, or other water conditions that overly stress the resin. I don't see those issues with your water.

RE: Help with water softener!

Yes, I'm planning to call them once I settled with the item I need to order. Alice, thank you for being very helpful with my question.

One last question, as for the filter they recommend is
Watts HSG 20" Full-Flow 20" Clear:Black Housing with Pressure Release and 1" Connection (W20FFPH1CBPR) with FlowMax 20 micron (FM-BB-20-20) cartridge rated at 25 GPM.

What I have in mind is
FlowMatic Full-Flow 10" Clear:Black Housing with Pressure Release and 1" Connection (FH5000CB1PR) with FlowMax 5 micron (FM-BB-10-5) cartridge rated at 15 GPM.

The only difference is the GPM and the maximum water temperature (the samller one actually can handle 125F compared to the bigger one at 100F). The softener rated 12 GPM, I think 15 GPM flow is sufficient. You think?

RE: Help with water softener!

Provided you change cartridges regularly the smaller filter will work. 5 micron filtration may nor be necessary. 20 is likely fine.

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